Sunday, August 26, 2007

What About the Needy Children in Appalachia?

In the lobby at church today, a lady asked me a question. She told me about a conversation with a friend about our work. Her friend said, “What about all the needy children in Appalachia?” And this lady at church wanted to know what to say to her friend.

From my experience, I’ve never heard a compassionate person make this argument. I’ve heard a lot of people who are trying to dodge getting involved say such things. And I’d be interested to see what they’re doing about the needy kids in Appalachia. That’s not to impugn this lady’s motives. Just curious. That’s all.

Second, why should compassion care about borders? If a Canadian child fell into the Niagara River what heartless person would say, “What about the drowning children in America?” Instead, we would applaud those who did something to rescue the child.

Finally, there’s a good reason why Third World countries are called “Third World.” They lack the social and charitable infrastructure that we take for granted here in America. And the scope of human suffering that you’ll find in these countries is shocking. Few American children survive in garbage dumps. And though human trafficking happens within our borders, it nowhere approaches the scope that you’ll find in these places.

Hundreds of thousands of trafficked children are waiting for us to act. They don’t care about this debate. They just want somebody who’ll help. Why shouldn’t that be you?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Coffee Shop Epiphany

My wife went to one of those ubiquitous coffee shops to order a grande java-chip frappuccino decaf. It looked pretty good. The bill came to $3.85. While I was standing in line, I saw a one-pound bag of Guatemalan Antigua Coffee for $10.99. And that got me thinking.

I don’t drink coffee. And I have no problem with those who do. After all, I’m married to a frappuccino-drinker. But it dawned on me in the coffee shop that for a little less than the price of two pounds of coffee, someone could sponsor for a month a girl who has that has been rescued from human trafficking. That should get us thinking.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying our coffees. They’re a harmless and tasty indulgence. But let’s not forget the children. They’re worth the investment.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Dream Makers

I receive regular progress reports from the manager of our aftercare program. Usually, they’re not that interesting. Don’t get me wrong. They’re vitally important but not very interesting. They include expense reports, status reports and other business items, which are essential to monitoring our work. But what caught my eye on this report was the very last sentence. The manager sums up the girls’ progress, then concludes by writing: “They have their own dreams for their future.”

Think of it. These girls came from circumstances where dreaming only added to their sorrow. They were slaves. Their lives were not their own. They had no hope. No future. But now something precious has awakened in them. And they are dreaming dreams.

As a partner of the Rapha House Freedom Foundation, you are a dream maker. You inspire hope where there was no hope. You help bring to life things that have died. You give these girls the ability to dream. There are plenty of noble callings in life. But few are greater than being a dream maker.